Friday confessional – After a looong week

PhotobucketI confess… I have bought a lot of shoes lately. First I got myself some Vibrams: Then I got Isaac and Elliot some Keen sandals: . I also got myself some flip flops and Ell some awesome loafers:

I confess… I know those images are all over the place but eh, you’ll deal. because I also confess that I am at the end of my rope this week after two full weeks of grading research papers. I need a friggen’ break!

I confess… I am having daydreams about going home and drinking beer. I  just need to relax at some point here.

I confess… relaxation may not happen until Saturday night; that morning Ash has a race and then there’s the Springtime Tallahassee parade. Then I think we had some other afternoon plans. But then? Girls’ Night Out! Woot woot!

I confess… I realized today that I somehow paid for one of Ell’s classes twice this month. I wrote two checks on two consecutive days to the same place and didn’t even catch myself. Man, I really am overwhelmed. I normally don’t make that kind of mistake.

I confess… I felt really old this morning when I went in to tell a class that it was canceled. had they checked email, they would have known. But I felt old because I said that when I was a freshman, we didn’t have internet to tell us such things. Which isn’t true; we had net but professors didn’t email their students because that wasn’t the practice yet in 1997.

I confess… I am THIS close to buying 50 Shades of Gray… on my ipod of course. I highly doubt, however, that it is any naughtier than some of the stuff I have read. But we shall see! ;)

Alrighty, that’s it. Have a good weekend, y’all!

** Blogger is giving me some weird comment error so I will try to do it later on.

Spin Cycle – Role models

Second BloomingI am not articulate or smart enough to figure out why my mother was always my role model but I can tell you she was and is… though we disagree a lot. But that’s not my spin on this theme. I want to think about the future. And who my sons will hold as heroes in their hearts. No doubt, they’ll look up to dad. My husband is a pretty good role model: he has a very balanced life. Though he plays Magic with the nerds, he’s also a huge sports fan. Though he works on computers for a living, he’s also a huge runner. He believes in moderation for all things and he believes in himself. He can accomplish anything if he puts his mind to it, as cheesy as that sounds. I know it’s true because even though I consider myself a runner, I want to quit all the time. I always play a game with myself where I reason that I can just turn around and not even reach my mileage. For him, that’s not even an option. And it’s why he continues to be successful. But he also knows how to treat people and though he can sometimes be a huge asshole, he knows when people need help or a kind word.

The other day he was giving life advice to a very young friend of his who is about to have a baby. On Monday, a woman at the playground came running towards us screaming that her son’s leg was caught in her minivan’s door. Ash was the first to run over there and extract the screaming boy. Hero. I know my boys will see him this way and know how to grow into men. And really, that’s what role models should teach them.

WWTK – I hate it and love it edition


Hosted by the above and Crazy Mama.

{1} What is something that you currently spend money on that you consider a splurge or frivolous?

Well, for a while there, I was so strapped that I went hardcore on making coffee and breakfast at home. But now I am back to picking up coffee and/or a bagel or breakfast sandwich from local places. I don’t HAVE to do it but I like to. My husband eats lunch out every day; I like breakfast.

{2} Tell us about your first paying job. How old were you?

Hmm, well, first paying job was babysitting but if you want to be official, I was a camp counselor. My mother’s private school where she teaches has a summer camp that’s just during the day, not sleep-away. I worked it the summer before I went away to college and then between freshman and sophomore years. I didn’t have another job (if you don’t count the 2 weeks at Baskin Robbins about a year later) until 2002 when I started at CompUSA.

{3} Do you plan date nights and extras into a monthly/weekly budget?

Yes, actually. My husband and I take a half day every other Friday and we go to lunch and a movie. And if there’s time, we go home before getting the kids and bask in the quietness.

{4} Share one of your money saving tips with us.

Hmm, I have little ways to cut corners all over the place so I can’t think of anything that’s really groundbreaking. My husband has a Roth IRA that pulls out money for him so he cannot touch it. That’s one. I save 100 bucks a paycheck and it goes into savings where I only touch it if need bee. Now, saving money on items? COSTCO. (Ok, or Sam’s, your choice) but if you shop it right, you WILL save money.

And finally, Christine @ wants to know:
{5} If you won the lottery – would you spend it frivolously or use what you need and save the rest? Why?

It really depends on how much I won. I tell you first thing, I’d take the lump sum. Just pay the taxes and get it. I think we’d probably rent out our house, put a large down-payment on a newer, larger house, then invest it. To be honest though, I’d probably take 1000 of it and buy all the little things I have wanted forever.

Random (Talk to Us) Tuesday – 33 edition


Seriously Shawn

Dammit, Tuesday. Why do you have to be so ironic? You are usually the worst day of the week and yet, this awesome blog hop happens to fall on you. Oh, I’m so torn!

  • I’m staring to burn out on grading papers. Too bad that’s my source of extra income and I have to do it. The money is worth it.
  • I may have a ghost writing opportunity coming up and though I am sort of afraid, if it pans out, I will take it. I could potentially make a good deal of money. And the experience would be pretty awesome.
  • Sometimes I think I live too safely; don’t take enough chances. Maybe I need to just grab the bull by the horns, as they say.
  • Speaking of… today is my birthday.
  • And as always, something has come up to screw it up. There was a water main break at daycare and they had to close it down. Ash is getting the kids but everything is unfair and effed up. He stayed home with them yesterday for teacher planning day but I have SO much work to do. This is what always happens on my birthday; I think it’s a sign that I should no longer celebrate birthdays.
  • Sorry; I am just in a funk now. I never really thought I was one to worry about getting older and not having met certain goals, etc. but the more I think about it, the more emotional I get. Le sigh.
  • On the bright side – ha! – Ash did make us breakfast this morning. That was in the time before the Grand Daycare Water Breakdown of 2012.
  • Well, not much else to bitch about so I am going to grade papers and try to visit all your blogs, all before 3 PM when I have to go help my wonderful husband. Peace out like a girl scout!

Oh wait, Man Candy (smacks forehead – duh!) Zac Taylor is my model birthday gift to myself. And a happy birthday indeed!


*ETA: School reopened! Thank the Lord God above! Woot woot!

Weekend Recap + Bring on the men (MMMM)

I had a good weekend, though the children were exceedingly annoying in a lot of ways. They weren’t totally awful, but they took me to my limit, that’s for sure. On Friday, Ash and I saw Hunger Games (which I liked but he was irritated by), then got the kids a bit early. We decided to just have mac and cheese for dinner and I think we did take a walk that night before putting them to bed. Saturday morning I ran and then we did our weekly Costco trip. When the kids went down for nap, we started watching Big Trouble in Little China but then decided we needed a nap too. On Sunday, Ash ran and we had bagels and grilled for lunch then the kids and I went to Target before nap. Our Target just got fresh food so that was kind of cool. While they napped I got a bit of a tan and cleaned up a bit. All in all, good weekend (except for Sunday night, which might get a post of its own.)

So, favorite male artist… This is tough because I like so many.
Ok, let’s start with Chris Cornell of Soundgarden fame.  I have a thing for his voice. It’s just so… graarr. Here’s a song he sang for the first new Bond movie. (It’s not even fair to put this voice with images of Daniel Craig.)
 I like a lot of country but Brooks and Dunn are by far some of the best of all time.
A lot of people didn’t like Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder; like his voice was weird or something. But to me, it’s the voice of my formative teenage years.


Friday Confessional – I really shouldn’t even be blogging


I confess… I have way more work to do than I thought and I am behind.

I confess… the above still isn’t going to stop me from taking a half day, eating Mexican, then seeing Hunger Games.

I confess… I had no idea that the Hunger Games director also directed Pleasantville. And that he wrote Big and Dave. Those are some of my all-time favorite movies!

I confess… I am not really Team Gale or Team Peeta. When I read it, I was Team Katniss all the way. I was all like, “Oh, there’s some kind of love story here? Ohh, yeah… wait, oh, THERE it is…”

I confess… I sometimes wish I had one of those watches like Hermione so I could get all my work done.

I confess…I’ve been so stressed this week that last night, I went up to the mall for some retail therapy. It’s Friends and Family time at Yankee Candle so my sister called ahead and added me to my store’s list. I got about 50 bucks worth of stuff for only 30!

I confess… that I may have also gotten some coffee and a mini apple pie from Starbucks while at the mall. Yummm…

Ok, that’s what I got. have a happy weekend, y’all!

Spin Cycle – Car Trips

Second Blooming


When I was little, we took a ton of car trips, because we really couldn’t afford to fly (at least, that’s what I figured.) Some of them were short – one hour to my grandparents’ house – and some were really long – like the 10 hours to my other grandparents’ house. Then the ones I remember the most were the three day sojourns from South Florida all the way to Western New York.

We used to load up my grandpa’s ’56 Lincoln (the kind with suicide doors!) and start the long drive. I can’t seem to recall how far we got that first day. Maybe Georgia? It’s about five or six hours from Palm Beach to the Florida/Georgia border. What I remember with the most vivid detail is when the landscape began to change and mountains popped up. I was apparently a squirmy kid (I don’t recall this but my mom tells me so) and they used to stick me in the front between my Grammy and Grandpa. I relished in seeing all the new cities and landscapes first. When field gave way to roads cut into mountains, I got excited.

I really remember Virgina. We always stayed in a Red Roof Inn or a Knight’s Inn, but only if it had a pool. The best time was when my grandpa even got in to play with us. It was cool out (probably October) but the pool was heated and steam billowed off its surface, which reflected the lights of the hotel that gleamed in the late dusk. The next day we went into Virginia and there was a rest stop we always used right before we went up into the mountains. I didn’t like feeling like it was the last stop; last chance before we were fully entrenched in the mountainside.

The third day was all Pennsylvania and New York. Most of New York is not city, but I never really knew that. A lot of it looks like Scranton, PA. (If you’ve ever been there, you’ll know what I mean.) But so much of the countryside out there is so drastically different than down South. On some roads, where we were walled in on either side by steep shale and limestone; water ran freely from cracks in the stone. Once you get out of that, there’s Amish country, which weirded me out. Every time they saw our car and turned their backs, I wondered just what kind of lifestyle they lived.

When we got to our destination, we all fell out of the car, exhausted from all that driving, and went into the old farmhouse owned by family out in the country:

These trips are engrained in my memory as some of the best times spent with my family and Exploring the East Coast. There was really only one mishap: we were in Maine, pulling up to (I think) either a restaurant or museum with a semi-circle drive. And somehow I opened the back door and went swinging out of the car, my face dangerously close to the pebbles on the drive as my mother held me by the back of my shirt. That scared me shitless and from then on, I left the door handles alone!

WWTK Wednesday – Gadgetry edition



{1} How many phones do you have in your household? (cell, smart, land lines)

We have all of… two: my cell phone and my husband’s. I have not had a land line since 2001!

{2} Are you brand loyal? (Apple or Android or something else?)

Not necessarily. I was with ATT for a very long time (1998?) and I went through Nokias and LGs and have had Samsung phones for the last few rounds. I like Android a lot but I have an ipod, which is why I didn’t get an iphone. So, no, no really. (First phone below.)
{3} Would you rather talk on the phone, text or email?

Sometimes, I definitely would like to avoid talking if at all possible. I like texting and email if we’re trying to make some simple plans. If I haven’t talked to my sister in a few weeks, we’ll be on the phone for an hour or so.
{4} What do you think of Video chat? what do you use? (skype, facetime? google talk?)

I only recently got into Skype when my newish laptop came with a built in camera. I tell you what I love, is the fact that my kids can see my parents. They’re the only ones I have Skyped with but I definitely think it’s cool for the kidlets.
Fulfilled Mommy @ wants to know:
{5}What is your favorite gadget? (Tablet, cell phone, etc.)

Before I got my Smartphone, I would have said my itouch, because I could play all my music AND games AND read with the Kindle app. And I still do, but with my cell on me at all times, I can check into FB and twitter and play games too, though the battery wears down a lot faster on my phone.
{6} If you had to pick just one technological gadget, (computer, cell phone, smart phone, tablet)and it was the only one you could use for a year, which would you pick? explain why.

I GUESS I would say my laptop, because if we’re talking for real, an entire year, I would need to work and I grade A LOT of papers. Though I originally thought cell phone, I can’t really do my work there. On the laptop at least I could Skype. Hell, it’d be cheaper!

Random (Talk to us) Tuesday – Candy revival, Forgetfulness, Bank woes


Seriously Shawn

Aye, Tuesday again. But that means random thoughts and linkage.

  • On Saturday, while we were waiting for our (very nutritious) Hungry Howie’s pizza, we wandered into World Market. I don’t know if you have one of these but it’s a great place to find quirky things. Anyway, they also have tons of funky candies and goodies from all over the world. We picked up some Haribo gummis, Sweet Tarts, one Turkish Delight, and I tried a new kind of sarsaparilla.
  • Since then, Ash has had a taste for candy and Sunday night, he took Ell to the drug store. They got butterscotches (the kind like grandma used to keep in her purse) more Sweet tarts, nerds, and Smarties. Yum!
  • I had this mental to-pay list in my head; all the stuff I needed to get/buy/pay next paycheck and now? I can’t remember one single thing! I swear I need to actually utilize my phone and make notes. (Instead of just playing Draw Something.)
  • I spent most of Monday worrying about my bank account. See, on Friday, I bought new running shoes. I had a 15% off coupon so I went in, tried on multiple pairs, chose the newest version of my existing shoes, and paid. I then went next door and got lunch. Jamming my hand into my pocket for my debit card, I realized I had forgotten to use my coupon. SO, I went back into the shoe store and the woman said she’d just go ahead and cancel that transaction. Except it was still showing as being subtracted from my account (as a processing transaction anyway). My mother assured me that banks do this all the time; it was a Friday and they’d go ahead and use that money but clear it all up come Monday. Well, it’s Tuesday and both charges are STILL processing.
  • On a whim I bought these Don Miguel burritos at Costco. They aren’t frozen and come in packs of 6 for 10 bucks. Let me tell you: ridiculously tasty! I have had one each of the last three days.
  • I also got this trail mix that claims to taste like PB&J and you know what? It does! Almonds, peanuts, dried cranberries, raisins, oranges and strawberries. Amazing snack!
  • I have to share this video with you. These are at-your-desk arm exercises and man, they’ll work you! I have five pound weights so it’s a wee bit harder than her one pounders but I have a feeling if I keep this up, my arms will look fabulous for summer.
  • I left my debit card in my office yesterday so this morning, I have no coffee. And I had planned to hit up a CVS this morning for eye drops. No matter what allergy meds I take, my eyes are itchy. ARGH.

Now, I normally pride myself on knowing the names of the Man Candy models because even though I’m objectifying them, everyone deserves some credit. But these are unknowns and I don’t care. ‘Round here, it’s getting to be pool/beach season and this is all too appropriate. Enjoy!

Busted brackets, nice weather, and MMMM

My weekend was pretty darn good, I have to say. Though I worked grading papers all Friday afternoon and Ash went out to play cards, things were still good. I took the kids to target that evening, which they love. I have never seen kids so happy just to walk around a store. Granted, if they’re good, I will buy them something cheap. But not always. On Saturday I got up early and ran trails with a friend. Good run! When I got back, we all took a walk around the neighbourhood. Mid-day we went out to pick up a pizza and walked around various stores in that shopping center while we waited. Everyone napped. Then we played in the yard and washed our cars before going to Costco for a rotisserie chicken. Except 5:45 is too late for them; they’re so good and cheap they fly off the shelves. We then watched Lady and the Tramp.

Sunday was all bagels and cleaning and impromptu lawn mowing. I tanned for a bit but really got the cleaning bug. I was so happy to finally get some things taken care of in the house. Elliot didn’t nap but that’s OK; he behaved otherwise. In the afternoon I threw together a lasagna and after dinner, we took another walk. It’s too bad that the night had to end with FSU losing to Cincinnati and not progressing to the Sweet 16 but you know, so it goes. Is it proper protocol to apologize to my student when I see him?  I mean, he played well, all in all.




Since it’s a freebie week, I’ll pick a random song I ended up liking from a commercial: Fun’s We are young.
I love running to this song!